When it comes to the NFL, this year race is a major subject. After last years anthem protest by then San Francisco 49ers' quarterback Colin Kaepernick, many fans are now divided over things like race, social injustice and police brutality. As this season takes shapes, more and more players and fans are beginning to protest the anthem and it often leads to other fans speaking out.
On Sunday at the season opener for the Detroit Lions, a fan saw other fans sitting during the national anthem. The fan took it upon himself to pull out his phone (during the anthem, btw) and snapped a picture of an African American man and women sitting. He then posted the picture to social media, including Snapchat and Facebook, with the caption “ignorant [racial slur].”
Initially, the fan, identified as Detroit-area business owner David Doptis, denied posting the picture, but then appeared to change his story in a Facebook post.
The Lions released a statement earlier this week that did not mention the slur on Snapchat, but the team stressed that “all fans are respectful and considerate to each other regardless of their personal beliefs or differences.”
The team code of conduct for fans states that tickets can be revoked for behavior including inappropriate behavior toward others, such as using foul or abusive language or obscene gestures.
The woman in the photograph, also a season-ticket holder, told Detroit affiliate Fox 29 that she had no idea her picture was being taken. She has been sitting during the anthem in protest of the third stanza of the song, which condones killing self-emancipated slaves.